A boil, which, for the past fifteen or so years, has been gradually gathering pus in New Zealand thanks to the actions and inactions of the immigration ministers of successive Labour and National governments, would now appear to have burst.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, after the invasion of Iraq at the whim of the leaders of the waxing American and the waning British empires, I abandoned our family business to my wife and dedicated myself to political activism. This was in seemingly hopeless pursuit of a structure of global governance in which might did not give right and in which such egregious breaches of international law and violent and criminal acts of folly could no longer occur. In New Zealand at that time such political ideas were not at all commonplace!
In the course of my proselytising, a long-standing friend, who was active in the anti-nuclear movement, introduced me to that rare creature, someone who shared my ideas on global governance. Harmon Wilfred had come to a similar position as mine in regards to the need for an overarching global governance structure – but had travelled a more interesting route to get there. In 2008, a couple of years after we had been introduced, he, and his wife, Carolyn, joined our family fruit brandy distillery as fifty percent partners.
At that time, the Wilfreds were operating a social charity in Christchurch, which Carolyn had established on first arriving in New Zealand in 2001. They were endeavouring to make it self-funding by using the capital they had endowed it with, to purchase shareholdings in profitable New Zealand businesses. Carolyn is a Canadian citizen, who was resident in New Zealand on a business visa. She was entitled to do so as a director of an IT company, which was pioneering VOIP around the Pacific Rim and which Harmon had founded on taking up residence in New Zealand.
Harmon had arrived in New Zealand as an American citizen and been granted a business visa. However, in 2004 when his passport, was due to expire, he took it to the American Consulate in Auckland to be renewed. The Consulate confiscated his passport and told him that he would have to return to Washington to obtain its replacement.
Fearing for his freedom and possibly for his life, Harmon chose instead, to renounce his American citizenship. (US legislation allows citizens to renounce their citizenship on the basis that only a lunatic would wish to do so.) In due course the US State Department issued Harmon with a formal certificate that he was no longer an American citizen.
From that point on, Harmon was stateless. As such, he was unable to travel on behalf of his IT business, which was on the point of a major entry into the Chinese market and thereafter went into sharp decline, ultimately to be sold off. As a stateless person in New Zealand, he was not allowed to work, to vote, or to receive medical services, or any other benefits from the state. He was fortunate in that his wife was still able to support him, otherwise he could have been left to die on the street.
Today, twelve years further on, Harmon’s continues his life as a non-person, suspended in a New Zealand government established limbo. This is despite Harmon’s repeated attempts to have his position regularised in line with NZ’s commitment to UN protocols concerning the treatment of stateless persons. Despite Harmon having been accepted by the UN as a bona fide asylum seeker and despite the best efforts of the NZ Ombudsman’s office, the NZ government has consistently chosen to ignore the representations of both institutions on behalf of Harmon’s Human Rights.
As will become clear later in this blog, Harmon had good reason to fear a return to Washington. He had been the point man in a CIA operation to establish a CIA covert bank, utilising the back office services of the Bank of Lichtenstein, Credit Suisse and other Western European financial institutions with an initial funding of USD $6 billion, but which was scheduled to be rapidly augmented by tens of further billions. This new covert banking facility was intended for the funding of the CIA’s ‘black-ops’ outside Congressional oversight.
For reasons unforeseen and unintended, the operation came to the notice of other US government agencies, most particularly the Office of the President under Bill Clinton. Consequently, the CIA started a cover-up and ‘cleaning’ operation, which cost the life of at least one of the team involved. Living in Canada at the time, Harmon received a tip-off from a friend in Langley that he too was about to meet the cleaners. Overnight, he fled to Hong Kong with his wife. From there they flew to New Zealand where they had hoped to start a new life.
As an insurance policy against the CIA’s tidy-up team pursuing him to his new home, Harmon posted a website https://www.luminadiem.com/ This hyperlink will give you an idea of what sort of stuff is contained on this website https://www.luminadiem.com/lumina-diem/Case-History-section-7/ (read the PDFs in the left hand column.) To study the whole website would take several days. I have seen some of the original documents, including one which was a clear warning of fatal consequences should any member of the Lichtenstein team foul up.
To anyone, who takes the trouble to study this massive and meticulously maintained archive, the main story and the several sub-plots will seem fantastical. In Harmon’s case, truth really is stranger than fiction. Sadly, and as will become apparent by the end of this blog, Harmon’s extraordinary odyssey is still unfolding. One day a film will be able to be made of it, every bit as exciting as the Bourne Identity!
To add to Harmon’s problems with the NZ government, a Fairfax journalist, Martin van Beynen, latched onto Harmon’s situation as a cheap and sensational way to raise his readership profile. In a series of articles in the Christchurch Press and the Dominion Post, Beynen, apparently taking much pleasure in kicking a victim already on the ground, repeatedly branded Harmon and Carolyn as unwelcome, rich, American ‘over-stayers,’ guilty of all sorts of crimes against New Zealanders. This was all done without ever meeting with, or even telephone-interviewing Harmon or Carolyn. Beynen’s articles caused public, political and judicial sympathy for the Wilfred’s situation to evaporate and indirectly, beyond the intense personal distress they gave rise to, led to the destruction of their charitable and business interests. https://www.presscouncil.org.nz/rulings/hugh-steadman-against-the-press It should be noted that The Press Council, the only body to which such complaints can be taken, is a self-regulating body, funded and operated by those entities (among which Fairfax was a major player) against which any complaints might be directed.
As Harmon’s friend and business partner, I set about trying to pull whatever strings I had access to, in order to remedy the situation. In 1985, my wife and I had entered New Zealand under what was then known as ‘the Entrepreneurial Entry Scheme.” The Honourable Aussie Malcolm, as the previous Minister of Immigration, had instigated the scheme. Subsequently he had retired from Parliament and established a consultancy helping would be migrants to New Zealand succeed in their applications. https://www.malcolmpacific.com/ Chris and I were among his very first clients applying for entry under the entrepreneurial entry Scheme. As such, we had become personally acquainted and I felt no embarrassment making a personal approach to Aussie on Harmon’s behalf. Aussie surprised me by coming back to me about a week later with an adamancy that gave me pause for thought. There was nothing he, nor anyone else could do for Harmon and the subject should be dropped.
More recently I had a similar experience with a serving member of the current National Government’s cabinet. Tim Groser, now NZ Ambassador in Washington, was then Minister of Trade. My personal friend and export agent, Darius Karani, fluent in seven Indian languages, was working closely with Groser on trying to set up an NZ-India FTA. Darius asked Groser if he could help in Harmon’s case and he seemed delighted to do so. A week later Groser returned to Darius with exactly the same reaction and advice as Aussie Malcolm had expressed.
I then arranged to meet up with Nicky Hager https://www.nickyhager.info/ in Wellington. I rate Nicky as one of the world’s topmost investigative journalists. With his “Secret Power,” published in 1996, he had already revealed, to those that had eyes for such matters, much of the secret surveillance system that Edward Snowden was to reveal to a surprisingly surprised world so many years later. Nicky is a most knowledgeable man. I asked him whether he believed that there was a secret treaty between the USA and New Zealand along the lines of the one that is presumed to exist between the UK and the USA as a result of the Polaris/Trident deal. Such a deal might basically surrender NZ sovereignty and overrule NZ Human Rights legislation in regard to the treatment of Americans seeking political asylum in New Zealand.
Nicky’s opinion, which I fully respect, was that no such secret agreement would exist. However, what would exist, would be an extremely powerful, ‘old-boys net,’ operating between the two secret service agencies and that NZ’s SIS, anxious to ingratiate itself with its big-brother, would do all in its power to comply with any favour requested of it by the CIA.
Now what favour would that be? My presumption is that the favour would be that, in return for the CIA promising not to do anything messy on NZ’s home-turf, NZ would keep Harmon on ice, until such time as they could find a legal way in which, with minimal associated publicity, they could rendition him back into a territory in which the CIA had full freedom of operation.
Harmon differs from me in this, in that he believes that he is still alive because the CIA knows that he alone has the specific contacts and capacity to do something which they may, one day, wish to have done, but which can only be done with his active and willing cooperation. Needless to say, this item is not mentioned on the Lumina Diem website. This factor, of which I have only the most shadowy understanding, is in my opinion, the most extraordinary aspect of the whole extraordinary story.
The problem, which is spurring everyone into action and bringing the Wilfred situation to a crisis point, is that it looks as though the next POTUS (President of the United States) could soon be Bill Clinton’s wife, Hillary. It is unlikely that it was purely by coincidence that within a couple of days of Hillary declaring her run for the presidency, Harmon’s Texas-hosted Lumina Diem website was, for the first time, taken down in a massive and professional hacking attack. This not unanticipated event had been prepared for. Within a week, the site was back up again hosted somewhere in Europe, this time, behind an impregnable fire-wall.
Amongst the multiple files and document saved on the Website are documents that incriminate Bill Clinton, who was POTUS at the time Harmon was setting up its Lichtenstein slush-fund for the CIA. Though Congress would have been unaware of this matter of ‘national security,’ once the President became aware of it, it would appear, he seized the opportunity to clip the ticket.
Harmon’s surmise, that has to a certain extent informed his recent decisions, is that senior elements within the CIA, resent the Clintons’ hold over their agency and it is not unlikely that they would welcome any moves Harmon could take to limit the Clintons’ chances of once again gaining access to the Oval Office.
Having found each other fairly later in life after previous marriages, the Wilfreds have both gone through a mutual trial by fire together, in which Carolyn has shown herself to be the most admirable and staunch ally. Immigration New Zealand’s actions might make little sense were it not understood the full extent to which the couple are in love.
Carolyn’s full name is Carolyn Dare Wilfred. Her family name was Dare. She is the youngest of three siblings. Their father, Carl Dare, recently died and left the family business, www.darefoods.com to his three children. Carolyn now owns 27.5% of Dare Foods. Her two elder brothers, both resident in Canada and controlling the board of Dare Foods, own the remainder. The market value of Carolyn’s shares is in the region of C$50 million.
Her brothers were fully aware of their sister’s isolation and her predicament, in that her husband was unable to earn a living and that consequently, the couple must be almost out of funds. They turned down her 2013, request, based on the shareholders’ agreement, that they either purchase her shares, or let her sell them on the open market. Instead, in the mistaken belief that she would be unable to afford any legal representation, they offered her a pension of $80,000 p.a. for life in exchange for her shares.
Refusing to give way to such extortion, Carolyn sold her remaining minority shareholding in the couple’s NZ registered, IT company and is using the proceeds to fund a law suit against the brothers for oppression of a minority shareholder. After protracted, legal delaying tactics by the brothers, this case now, is finally due to be heard in a Toronto courtroom sometime around September this year.
Unfortunately for Carolyn, her abandonment of her stake in her New Zealand company resulted in the automatic expiration of the business visa, under which she had been living with her husband since their arrival fifteen years earlier.. She had therefore had to apply for a residency permit.
Embarrassingly for the New Zealand government, just two weeks prior to its rejection of Carolyn’s application for the residency permit, in September 2015, Steven Joyce, NZ Minister for Trade & Enterprise had announced a new scheme, ‘Investor Plus.” Under this program, any foreign citizen willing to invest NZ$10 million, or more, in private New Zealand companies, would be entitled not only to a New Zealand passport, but also, prior to that, to a year’s multiple entries into New Zealand to search out suitable companies in which to invest.
Carolyn, had already lined up three companies in which to invest. One of these was a $5 million plus investment in https://www.carbonscape.com/ a high-tech company and a particular, darling show-case of all the initiatives that Joyce’s ministry claims it wishes to encourage. Carolyn’s investment was intended to allow Carbonscape to move out of a five-year R & D, start-up phase and into its first pilot production. However, it would appear that in this instance, the National government has in mind even higher priorities than assistance to its much coddled economy.
On the rejection of her application for a residency permit, Carolyn promptly applied for entry under this ‘Investor Plus’ scheme. She was told that, in order to apply, she would have first to leave the country under the notice that had already been issued. Not wishing to be classified as an over-stayer, Carolyn duly left the country to visit a daughter in Canada, expecting to be able to return after a week or so. (If for no other reason, than that there is a visa waiver agreement in place between the two countries.)
The day Carolyn left the country, the Immigration Service issued an all-ports order that she was not to be re-admitted. Carolyn’s lawyer immediately protested and was assured that it was an error made by a junior official, which would be addressed. In the following months of legal correspondence, it was to become apparent that this statement was yet another official pronouncement deliberately designed to deceive.
Eight months of painful separation later, Carolyn’s application for a visa under the “Investor Plus’ scheme has been finally rejected. As too, has been the application she had made to the NZ Consulate in Washington for an NZ visitor’s visa. This had been made on the advice of the Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse, who, it would appear, was just playing with their hopes in order to ramp up the psychological pressure on the couple.
Despite his office having turned down Harmon’s repeated requests for residency and failing that, for a stateless person’s travel document, Woodhouse was happy to disinform the writer of a recent article in the Auckland Herald that “Given Mr Wilfred is unlawfully in New Zealand, should her husband decide to go elsewhere as suggested, then he is more than welcome to do so.” I guess he is not the only lying cynic in the present cabinet. https://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11640335
The Wilfreds are firmly convinced that their suspension in their New Zealand limbo is at the particular behest of elements within the CIA, who are in league to the Clintons. Facing the possibility of being forced to spend the rest of their lives apart, the couple have decided to take the desperate measure, despite the serious physical dangers such a move might entail, of publicising the Clinton misdemeanours. This has taken the form of an open letter to Mr Trump – not that Harmon would not prefer Bernie Sanders as President, but he reasons that Sanders would never act against the interests of a democrat President and that from the Wilfreds’ point of view, nothing could be more detrimental to their well-being than another Clinton presidency.
I apologise for the difficulties I am still having with my hyperlinks but I have now given up. Readers will just have to cut and paste! I also apologise to anyone who received a scrap of a draft blog last Monday – that was one attempt to solve the hyperlink problem that didn’t work!
“To access hyperlinks, please right click on the hyperlink words in bold in order to open a new window”
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